Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Everyday Pleasures

Some days I sit down to write and think "we didn't do anything extraordinary, there isn't much to say..." and then I stop and think about it and there is always something to say. I was thinking this morning how so many little things make up our everydays, whether we are here or at home, and if we blink too long we might miss them.

After dinner we were walking home, and the full moon was bright and clear. It was a perfect fall night! The air was crisp and clean, and the moon lit up the street in a way that only comes with cloudless nights. Torben and I had a race down the sidewalk. He thought it wasn't fair that I could run faster than he can. I think I actually run slower than he does, but my stride is longer so I cover more ground. It was fun to just break into a run while walking along the sidewalk. Just to add a bit of joy to the necessary.

We had promised the kids they could have hot chocolate after dinner before they got ready for bed. We neglected to choose an appropriately-sized mug for the occasion, though, so it ended up taking about an hour. Right. Note to parents: use a kid-sized mug when you promise them a hot drink before bed, or they will spend half an hour waiting for the large mug to cool, and another half an hour sipping it from a mug 4-times larger than their little bladders should take in.

This morning all three kids woke up early, for some reason. The time change always seems to mess with kids sleeping patterns. They go to bed later, and wake up earlier -even though they can hardly read a clock -and there wasn't a clock for them to read upstairs anyway. Anders was already sleeping in our bed; he had woken up from several bad dreams over night and was done sleeping in his own bed. Svea woke up crying "Mommy! Mommy!" It was only about a half-hour earlier than usual, so we let them get up. We sat upstairs talking about how the sky was getting lighter but we could still see the stars. Then I asked Svea to go wake up Torben to go downstairs. She and Anders both went into his room, but he wasn't there. Anders said "he must be downstairs already" and I thought that was unlikely since I hadn't heard the door open to the stairway. But sure enough, he was not in his bed. So the three of us went downstairs in search of was dark and there were no lights on, and no sounds. Anders checked all the rooms. Torben wasn't there either.

Now it was getting sort of curious; where had he gone? He likes to hide sometimes, but I couldn't think of where he might have decided to hide so early in the morning. I went back upstairs and saw his shadow outlined against the light coming through the bathroom window. He was sitting on top of the toilet seat, staring outside. He told me "I got up very early and have been waiting to watch the roofers do their work." He was sitting silent and still -which he so rarely does- but really seemed to be enjoying the peace that came with watching them get ready to start their work. They seem to arrive at around 6:30 or 7:00 each morning, still. It has been several days of rebuilding the entire roof next door. And it's a short house so from the upstairs we can see all of what they are doing.

The morning went so much smoother when we got up a little bit earlier. I mentioned to them how pleased I was with how they got ready, and we talked about how getting up earlier made it a little bit calmer in the morning, and they even had time to colour for a little while before we had to leave for school. They agreed that it might be a good way to start each day. Just a little earlier.

The weather is perfect for fall. Crisp and sunny, with fallen leaves covering the ground and turning it various shades of gold and orange. I love the smell of fallen leaves as well. And here we get the smell of fireplaces and woodstoves as we walk down the street as well, which adds another layer to the magic of fall.

Svea and I sat on the couch today before her nap, sharing a cappuccino. I tried to entice her to drink her milk instead, but she was much more interested in my coffee. "Dink, mommy? hot?"

I roasted the seeds from the kids pumpkins today, so the whole house smells like fall. I had washed the seeds, but there were still small bits of pumpkin stuck to some of them, so that really added to the delightful smell emanating from the kitchen.

We weren't able to go out for dinner for my birthday yesterday because Jeff was on duty and was required to be at the meals. We are planning to go to the Pizzeria Milano tonight. The boys have been asking to go since we got here. It smelled so amazing as we walked by in the late summer when they still had the doors open.

Jeff had to go to Ribe today to get the car windshield fixed -it got hit with a rock when we were driving from Grenaa- and he also stopped at one of the stores to get the boys a Lego Advent calendar. We are keeping it a surprise until December, but I can already anticipate how excited they will be. Svea isn't quite old enough for that kind yet, but we are planning to get her a Princess one with chocolates for each day so she gets to open a window too. It's so much fun to think about how to make Christmas magical for them when we are away from home. Which got me to thinking... home isn't a place, it's a state of mind. What a cozy thought it is to say "welcome, home."

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